When one hears the film title Jaws, the eyes widen, and everyone hears the legendary sounds of John Williams, it shocks audiences in 1975 and caused dreadful consequence, a loathing hatred for sharks, resulting in the slaughter of many. The studio saw dollar signs, and in 1978 Jaws 2 bit into the audiences once more, munching on their wallets, therefore the eagerness to return to the killer Great White. However, what to do, 5-years later, producers of the first two films, David Brown and Richard D. Zanuck, thought of a pitched project titled “National Lampoon’s Jaws 3, People 0”, but a resounding rejection cast all in directions caused both to quit relations with Universal Studios. Then switched to moving from the beaches of Amity to a SeaWorld Park, yet kept in the Jaws family, with director Joe Alves, who worked as a Production Designer on Jaws and Second Unit Director on Jaws 2. The movie gurus decided on the latest gimmick hitting the market in the 1980s, 3-D, popularized by such flicks as Parasite (1982), Friday the 13th Part III (1982) and by November Amityville 3-D (1983) rounded out the highlights. As a side note, another feature 3-D shark movie, did not appear again until Shark Night 3D (2011), perhaps hinting at the lack of believability although a Piranha 3D released in (2010).
Another thing about this movie, it comes from all of the hands working on the script, first Peter Benchley’s name is attach because of the creation of Jaws, but then the guru of 70s animal-attack subgenre genius Guerdon Trueblood (what a name) who’s resume consists of The Savage Bees (1976), Ants (1977), and a few others, gave input to the story. Michael Kane, in his only horror film contribution with additional dialogue, legendary Richard Matheson and Carl Gottlieb (Jaws 2) both did the screenplay. Hence five individuals delivering this convoluted bloated b-movie.
Now the flick starts with the half-eaten fish and a cloud of red (blood) though it seems stuck in the water the fish’s mouth still making movements, as if unaware its dead. This fish turns to the audience acting as the first of 3D gimmicks as well as the title cards. It’s been years since the last shark attack on Amity Island, his sons left the area all grown up, now try to avoid factoring in the jobs and ages into the timeline never going to help with this movie nor the franchise. Mike (Dennis Quaid) works as an engineer for SeaWorld, who’s dating marine biologist Dr. Kay Morgan (Bess Armstrong), both who work for Calvin Bouchard (Louis Gossett Jr. (Legend of the Mummy )) the oceanic amusement park owners, who mainly focused on the profits regardless of everyone beneath him, kind of reminds one of the original Mayor of Amity. Joining the group almost at the same time first, Sean (John Putch), Mike’s younger brother, now a college student, while , world traveler and big-game hunter Philip FitzRoyce (Simon MacCorkindale who passed on in 2010), who hints to his royalty connections and his pal Jack Tate (P.H. Moriarty (Evil Never Dies )). Fret not a love interest joining Sean, is Kelly Ann (Lea Thompson, in her screen debut), a water skier working at the same park. Soon a great white shark begins feeding in tiny morsels, a park employee with a checkered past, two bubbling coral thieves whose small inflatable raft seems to carry more than it could possibly hold, they too written off quickly, and a couple of injures and maybe two more deaths. Whoopee!
Some weak foreshadowing occurs when it comes to hand grenades, why mention them if not going to use them at some point and giving misdirection with a baby shark, setting up another 3-D stunt, possibly the third of the film. By the end, and you all know the hokey scene, yep the control room, and pitiful floating turd shot of Jaws, beyond fake, Ed Wood Jr.’s Plan 9 a better representation than that god-awful shot.
The shark was thirty-five feet long, longer than the previous films, but every foot wasted, as the movie appealing more if considered a b-movie, especially with all the cheesy effects, goofy dialogue, and abysmal 3-D fiasco of the early 80s. This shark flick, falling into the subgenre animal attack, lacks tension, suspicious, with a ridiculous conclusion. While the characters all technically fit together, something just lacks with a complete chemistry, perhaps the conviction lacking or that the storyline needed more hunting of the shark working on building terror, especially for the size of the beast. Jaws 3-D ultimately suffers in two major areas, first more as backdrop to people living their lives, dealing with boring relationships and more importantly the horrendous 3-D application.
While the entire movie isn’t a full disappointment, it contains numerous tame and some untended funny moments (control room), which now definitely look and sound quite campy. The special effects look very silly, clouds of underwater blood, appear stationary and make one want to revisit the first film. An interesting point, Spielberg, world return with Jurassic Park (1993) featuring an out of control dinosaur park, which looks far better than this place. Sadly, while earning its budgeted $20-million back and grossing over $87-million, the flick leaves a fishy taste with many, still would become outdone by Jaws: The Revenge (1987), with an even more messed-up timeline of the Brody family and what they did in a previous life to deserve this constant hatred from one breed of a shark.
- Reaching new depths of terror.
- The third dimension is terror.
- A deadly new attraction.
IMDb Rating: 3.6/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.5/10